Q: Why the name “Black Duck Farm”?
A: The Quenneville family coat of arms has 2 stars and a single black duck. We felt it was fitting – plus we love ducks!
Q: So does that mean you produce duck products too?
A: Not yet. It’s in the plans, however, I want to place large water earthworks on my land to provide the water access ducks need first. Perhaps in 2019 or 2020. 2018 will be the year to introduce a small batch of turkeys.
Q: Are you organic?
A: Not quite. Our chicken feed is a non-soy, non-GMO feed that we source from Western Ontario. The feed is organic at 75%, however the corn in it isn’t.
Everything else about the raising of these chickens follows organic practices – sometimes even exceeds them! They are outside on pasture from roughly 21 days of age, they receive no growth hormones or antibiotics, they experience lazy sunny afternoons in the grass, and receive at the very least 10 square feet of space per chicken, which is the organic standard. I also refuse to order sexed chicks sent from the hatchery, as it gives me the opportunity to provide a wide range of sizes for the discerning customer.
I am quite open to pursuing organic certification in the future, however I realize that organic chicken feed would be the biggest barrier to providing healthy ethical at a reasonable cost for residents of Cornwall and SDG. In the meantime, I am working on “farm efficiency” to reduce costs so I can pass it on to you, the customer.
Q: Why do you have a different name on facebook and instagram?
A: At first I started this farm under the name Glen Norman Permaculture, but then realized it needed a marketing change. For example, not many people know what permaculture is!
Permaculture is a design science based on natural patterns to create systems of support for humans. Basically, watch nature, and imitate it. The movement started in the early 80’s in Australia, and has certified designers – like me – all over the world, creating positive changes in our communities.
And so, while the names and accounts were already set up, I saw this as an opportunity to share the message and ideals of Permaculture to the world.
Q: What breeds do you raise?
A: In 2017, I am only raising White Rocks, which are the standard meat bird that is commonly found in factory farms. I have done a heritage breed in the past, the Nova Free Ranger, however due to an order mishap with the hatchery in question, I had to cancel my order. I hope to re-introduce them in the lineup for 2018.
Q: Do you do any eggs?
A: We do not. We will probably introduce duck eggs with the duck flock in 2019/2020, as it is not a profitable enterprise to have layer chickens at this time. We may revisit in the future.
Q: What about other animals?
A: Apart from Turkeys coming in 2018, and ducks possibly in 2019/2020, we are exploring raising small batches of pigs as well, possibly very soon!